A mixed-use, mixed-income development has revitalized a city block in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. 

The Shops and Lofts at 47 provides 96 residential units and 55,000 square feet of retail, which includes the neighborhood’s first grocery store in decades.

“For this underserved community in Bronzeville, this is a statement project on a key neighborhood corridor,” says Lee Pratter, senior project manager of The Community Builders (TCB), the nonprofit affordable housing developer behind the residential component.

Seventy-two of the units are set aside for households earning 60% or less of the area median income. Of those, 28 are public housing replacement units, in which households pay no more than 30% of their income for rent. The remaining 24 units are market rate.

The retail component, which was developed by Skilken and Troy Enterprises, also is providing a boost for the neighborhood, which had suffered from the loss of retail during the 1960s and 1970s and had been considered a food desert.

Now, a Walmart Neighborhood Market provides convenient and healthy food options. Additional retail includes a Subway, an AT&T store, and a Burger King.

“Having a high-quality grocery store with fresh fruits and vegetables is wonderful for the neighborhood’s residents,” says Pratter. “This is a neighborhood not just aspiring to have a residential and commercial mix, but for retailers and other developers to show that this location works. This area is a great location for families to live, stores to open, and businesses to invest.”

The $45.4 million development, completed in October, was among the first in Chicago to include both New Markets Tax Credits and low-income housing tax credits, which was made possible by a legally separate ownership through a vertical subdivision. To fill a capital gap, TCB provided Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 funds from the award it had received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010. The project also received significant support from the city of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority.